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Ateneo de Naga University College of Engineering Department of ECE and CpE Navigational Aids [ECTE002]

GREAT CIRCLE CALCULATIONS

Great Circle Distance

1. Haversine Formula

a

c

d

d

d

= sin 2

= 2atan2

= Rc

2

a,

1 a

2

R = 6371 km);

Note: angles need to be in radians to pass to trigonometric functions

Where : R is the earth’s radius

2. Spherical Law of Cosine

sin lat 2

3. Equirectangular Approximation

= R arccos[ sin lat 1

+ (cos lat 1 )(cos lat 2 )(cos Δlong)]

cos lat 1 + lat 2

2

= R

x 2 + y 2

 Bearing θ = atan2 sin Δlong cos lat 2 , cos lat 1 sin lat 2 − sin lat 1 cos lat 2 cos Δlong Midpoint
 cos lat 2 (cos Δlong) cos lat 2 (sin Δlong)

lat m = atan2 sin lat 1 + sin lat 2 ,

long m = long 1 + atan2(B y , B x + cos lat 1 )

cos lat 1 + B x

2 + B y

2

Destination point given distance and bearing from start point Given a start point, initial bearing, and distance, this will calculate the destination point and final bearing travelling along a (shortest distance) great circle arc.

 d d lat 2 = arcsin sin lat 1 cos R + cos lat 1 sin R cos θ d d long 2 = long 1 + atan2 sin θ sin R cos lat 1 , cos R − sin lat 1 sin lat 2

John Joshua F. Montañez

|| Compilation of Formulae || BS ECE- V ||

GE51

||

Navigational Aids || 1 | P a g e

Δlat

+ cos lat 1

cos lat 2

sin 2 Δlong

x

=

long 2 long 1

y

=

lat 2 lat 1

= B y =

B

x

RHUMB LINES CALCULATIONS

Rhumb lines Distance

Δψ = ln

tan

π + lat 2
4

tan

π + lat 1
4

q =

Δlat

Δψ (cos lat for EW line)

Where: Δlong is less than 180 o taking the shortest route

Bearing

θ = atan2(Δlong, Δψ)

Midpoint

lat m

= lat 1 + lat 2

2

f 2 = tan

π

4

π

lat 1

2

lat 2

4

2

+

f m = tan

π

lat m

4

2

+

long m =

long 2 long 1

ln f m

+

long 1

ln f 2

long 2

ln f 1

ln

f 2

f 1

Destination point given distance and bearing from start point Given a start point and a distance d along constant bearing θ, this will calculate the destination point. If you maintain a constant bearing along a rhumb line, you will gradually spiral in towards one of the poles.

lat 2 = lat 1 + R cos

d

θ

long 2 = long 1 +

d sin θ

R q

Intersection of two paths given start points and bearings

This is a rather more complex calculation than most others on this page, but I've been asked for it

a number of times. This comes from Ed William’s aviation formulary.

Δlat

2

θ a = arccos sin lat 2 sin lat 1 cos δ 12

sin δ 12 cos lat 1 θ b = arccos sin lat 1 sin lat 2 cos δ 12 sin δ 12 cos lat 2

Δlong

2

John Joshua F. Montañez

|| Compilation of Formulae || BS ECE- V ||

GE51

||

Navigational Aids || 2 | P a g e

d = R

Δlat

2 + q 2

Δlong 2

f 1 =

tan

+

δ 12 = 2 arcsin

sin 2

+ cos lat 1 cos lat 2 sin 2

If sin long 2

θ 12

= θ a

long 1

> 0

 θ 21 = 2π − θ b Else θ 12 = 2π − θ a

θ 21 = θ b

α 1

α

α 3 = arccos(cos

δ 13 = atan2[ sin

lat 3 = arcsin(sin

Δlong 13 = atan2[ sin θ 13 sin δ 13 cos

long 3 = long 1 + Δlong 13 + π %2π − π

Note:

if sin α 1 = 0 and sin α 2 = 0: infinite solutions

if sin α 1 sin α 2 < 0: ambiguous solution

this formulation is not always well-conditioned for meridional or equatorial lines

2

=

=

θ 13

− θ 12 + π

%2π − π

%2π − π

θ 21 − θ 23 + π

α 1 cos α 2 + sin α 1 sin α 2 cos δ 12

δ 12 sin α 1 sin α 2

)

, (cos α 2 + cos α 1 cos α 3 )]

lat 1 cos δ 13 + cos lat 1 sin δ 13 cos θ 13 )

lat 1 , (cos δ 13 sin lat 1 sin lat 3 )]

John Joshua F. Montañez

|| Compilation of Formulae || BS ECE- V ||

GE51

||

Navigational Aids || 3 | P a g e